Today three of Integrate’s very own are heading to SXSW! Allie, Jessie and Jenny have been counting down until this afternoon when they begin their trek to Austin for the “premier destination for discovery.” The ladies already have their schedules planned for the interactive sessions of the conference and are eager to learn more about emerging technologies and trends from some of the nation’s brightest entrepreneurs, techies and professionals.
If you want to be part of Allie, Jessie and Jenny’s journey, follow the IPR SXSW Tumblr and keep checking our blog as they will be writing about their experiences at SXSW for the next week! Also, be sure to follow IPR on Twitter for even more SX updates!
The entire office is excited to hear about this year’s SXSW experience and takeaways! At the 2012 conference, each team member attended different sessions to make the most of the week and learn as much as possible. Not to mention, Allie appeared on Austin’s CW-33 to talk about how SXSW is spring break for geeks and Jessie was on KXAN to discuss the SXSW traffic!
For all of you attending SX, have fun, and enjoy the ride!
Of the many panels at SXSW this year, Your Social Media Job is Dead struck a chord with us. While we were wary of a title that suggested uncertainness in our job security, the panel was a fresh perspective on the idea that you should not pigeonhole yourself into a job.
Natalie Rodic Marsan believes that the age of social media “mavens,” “gurus,” and other such titles were soon to be put to the wayside. Initially inclined to disagree with her opinion, she gave some thoughtful new insight. She stressed that when utilizing social media as a tool, it cannot be one’s entire strategy. Social media strategy is about being tactical and knowing when to use these tools and how to properly execute them. As social media can and should be used across many different internal positions, it is important to constantly evolve not only your skills in execution, but in your thought process in managing these tools. The panelist discussed the value of working across different jobs in order to learn and grow more than one set of skills.
As a perspective from inside the public relations field, we wholeheartedly believe that it is imperative to remember that all roles are perpetually changing and to be open to this. Not just in name but in scope of duty. For example, although we may call someone a “social media account executive,” when thinking about social media as an extension of an existing community, they may be more of a community manager. As technology shifts and roles change, Integrate Public Relations is committed to staying flexible and encourage other agencies and companies to do the same. In short, social media, public relations, journalism and all communication jobs may not be dead but they need to be open to constantly evolve.
As the March storms and showers left us drenched during the first two days of SXSW, we were literally able to soak in the experience. However, we did manage to leave with more than just the foresight to bring an umbrella next year, here are some of the new lessons the team felt important enough to share on Tumblr from our trip to SXSW:
- Accessibility is important to your brand. You must think about the people who may inadvertently be disenfranchised from viewing your message. For example, if your website shows running bus schedules, your consumer base will most likely attempt to access your information on the go. It is important to make sure that your website is enabled to be viewed on mobile devices or else your consumers will look somewhere else for that information.
- Whatever you are passionate about should translate to your blog posts. For example, write about brands, companies, people, things you love and make those your focus.
- In order to build a brand online, your brand must stay true to its authentic self. It is important that your brand remains relevant to your industry while still coming across as an outlet to the public. For example, @oscarprgirl, the communications director for Oscar de la Renta, curates personal tweets that are a mix of brand news that resonates the upscale aura of the brand, as well as personal fashion insight, in order to be genuine.
- In order to monitor ROI for social media, you have to first define the specific goals. If your goals include community building and engagement, than you can absolutely say, yes there is ROI in social media by seeing how large your community grows within a certain time parameter, how many people are interacting with you each day, and the level of loyalty you see online.
- Multitasking is a habit. We must make environmental changes to make sure we are not distracted from what we need to focus on. Put your phone in the trunk. Turn off the internet when you need to write something.
Overall, SXSW was the perfect opportunity for Integrate Public Relations to surround ourselves with like-minded individuals who share the same passions that we do. It was important to learn the new trends in the industry, what kinds of tools and campaigns have been working around the country and see what is coming for the future. The team could not have had more fun, and we are excited to show our clients how we can apply the lessons learned to their accounts.
Now, back to work!
We just came back from SXSW and we had a great time! We learned a lot of important lessons and were able to take away so much! If you’ve been following our Tumblr account, you’ll see what we did, where we were and what kept us busy all week. Each member of the team was able to take away a little something different- it was fascinating to follow each person as this all unfolded.
The team proudly wore shirts designed by KH Studios. Each day, we donned a different rebus puzzle (a phrase formed with pictures instead of words); we had a lot of fun making people figure out what they all said.
Here, Jenny and Stephanie display our Day four shirts in Entrepreneur’s online magazine
Here, Allie Danziger talks about how SXSW is spring break for geeks on the CW-33
Jessie and Stephanie talk SXSW traffic on KXAN
Our shirts definitely made the rounds!
The SXSW excitement is getting to us here in the IntegratePR office! Although it will be the first trip for some of us, Britney Munguia, SXSW veteran wrote a few tips on surviving the madness last year that we thought we’d share.
- Plan ahead – Check the schedule on SXSW.com and see which sessions pique your interest. If you can commit to going to it, take some time to look up the speaker and be ready to ask questions. This morning, the IPR team sat around the conference table and mapped out the weekend – it was great to make sure we have our bases covered and will get the most out of South By.
- Bring a Day Pack - Fill a backpack with all the essentials: a change of clothes, a light jacket or sweater and deodorant. Best to be prepared, and comfortable.
- Remember your business cards – SXSW is a great way to learn new information all while being surrounded by thousands of your peers, and the networking is truly invaluable. You’ll be in a situation to meet lots of new people so come prepared!
- Remember your I.D. - This is probably the most important item. Every event will need valid identification, and without it you’ll be turned away at the door.
- Wear comfortable shoes - You’re going to be walking a lot. Unfortunately you may have to choose comfort over fashion, because blisters are the worst.
- Remember your cell phone charger – SXSW is pretty spread out, and you’re not going to know where everything is located. Looking up maps, venue locations and directions will suck the battery life straight out of your phone. There will be charging stations for mobile devices set up in various locations.
- Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water, especially since you’ll be hanging out in the sun for several hours.
- Talk to strangers – Not only ok to do, but also encouraged! You’ll be around everyone in your industry – why not take advantage of this opportunity to connect with them?
Whew – are you ready yet? Let us know if you’ll be attending the conference!